Thursday, September 17, 2020

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 9/17/20


--Late last week there were several false reports that claimed Antifa members were starting wildfires in Oregon. Armed men met journalists of color and threatened them as a result. From the Oregonian: "No, anti-fascists have not been arrested in connection with wildfires ravaging Oregon, and public officials are asking people to stop spreading the various false rumors claiming this to be the case." To read more, click here.

Wildfire smoke in the North Cascades on Saturday, August 12th.

--Last year I was in Squamish when I heard what I thought was rockfall. Instead, it was the Sea-to-Sky Gondola. The cable had been cut at the middle of the night, and it collapsed. Well, it's happened again. From CBC: "The cable of the Sea-to-Sky Gondola has been deliberately cut in the middle of the night for the second year in a row, leaving the tourist attraction in shambles and staff at the company completely bewildered. The company and the RCMP confirmed the 55 millimetre-thick line of the gondola was severed overnight, sending cars crashing into the mountain." To read more, click here.

--Here is a map that shows real-time updates of the forest fires in Oregon.

--The REI headquarters that was built in Bellevue, Washington, but the company never moved into, was recently sold to Facebook.  To read more, click here.

--So a bunch of dudes are skateboarding and biking down climbing routes in Squamish. To read more, click here. To see a video of the first skateboard descent of the Apron, click below:

--If you're a user of the Mountain Loop Highway (Vesper Peak, Pilchuck, Big Four) in the Cascades, please take this survey. It will help dictate where trail building resources are focused.


--There have been two rattlesnake incidents in the last couple weeks in Yosemite. One snake bit a barefoot fisherman on the Tuolumne River. And the other bit a hiker on a steep slope. Both victims were in the hospital for several days. To read more, click here.

--Climbing is reporting that, "unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions on social gatherings and the wildfires currently burning in California, the 2020 Yosemite Facelift has been called off. However, in lieu of the Yosemite Facelift, the YCA is holding a Facelift: Act Local event from September 22-27, encouraging climbers to clean up their local crags and outdoor spaces." The Facelift is an annual Yosemite clean-up event. To read more, click here.

--And the most famous couple in American climbing just got married at Lake Tahoe. You probably already know who they are, but if you don't, check it out... Side note: This is the first post ever here from Brides Magazine.

Desert Southwest:

--KOLD News reported that, "following an investigation by Special Agents of the National Park Service and U.S. Park Rangers, a Flagstaff man pled guilty to misdemeanor violations for starting a wildland fire within Grand Canyon National Park. Thomas Grabarek, 71, pled guilty on Sept. 8, 2020 to misdemeanor violations for starting the Cottonwood Creek Fire which spread approximately 64 acres in the Inner Canyon along the Tonto Trail near Horseshoe Mesa." To read more, click here.

--Unofficial Networks is reporting that, "two trails at Taos Ski Valley’s Kachina Bowl will honor Matthew Zonghetti and Corey Borg-Massanari, both of whom died tragically in an avalanche in 2019. The trails will be known as Z-chute and She Gone. The Zonghetti and Borg-Massanari families selected the names." To read more, click here.

--This is a sad piece from the National Parks Conservation Association about a fire that destroyed thousands of joshua trees in the Mojave National Preserve.  The piece starts with the lines, "I lost the center of my world last week. I’m feeling a kind of vertigo of the soul." With the changing of the climate, it's unlikely those trees are coming back.

--It looks like we might start to have to make reservations to climb in Red Rock Canyon, near Las Vegas...

Colorado and Utah:

--Sophia Tang recently became the first woman to complete the 485-mile Colorado Trail from Denver to Durango, unsupported. In other words, she carried all her food for 21-days in one go. To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--The National Parks Traveler is reporting that, "a black bear found scavenging human remains was put down at Great Smoky Mountains National Park early Saturday, leaving investigators to determine whether the man was killed by the bear. Backpackers Friday afternoon on the Hazel Creek Trail spotted what appeared to be human remains and a bear scavenging in the area near campsite 82, where there was an unoccupied tent, a park release said Saturday." To read more, click here.

--Climbing is asking whether the crags are an appropriate place for protests and demonstrations.

--Canada's iconic gear store, MEC has been sold. From Cision: "MEC's Board of Directors (the "Board") announced its unanimous support for an agreement with Kingswood Capital Management, LP ("Kingswood"), whereby Kingswood will acquire substantially all of MEC's assets through the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act ("CCAA") and ensure a thriving future for the Canadian retailer." To read more, click here.

--Unofficial Networks is reporting that, "in a move mirroring Sugar Bowl’s decision to suspend season pass sales, Jackson Hole’s portal to purchase season passes was updated yesterday showing a halt to sales. Jackson Hole News & Guide reports the resort announced a bevy of new COVID-19 protocols including limiting capacity at the mountain by capping the number of tickets that can be purchased daily, sanitization of Aerial Tram cabins and the Bridger and Sweetwater Gondola cars multiple times daily, placing thermal imaging cameras “in certain areas” to detect fevers among skiers, and limiting capacity on the tram." To read more, click here.

--The outdoor industry is in the process of recovering...

--And finally, on the upcoming election, Patagonia hid a message on some of their clothing: Vote the Assholes Out. To read about it at Backpacker, click here.

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